U.S. DOL, OSHA Commemorate Workers Memorial Day

On April 27, administrators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will join anonline broadcast of the annual Workers Memorial Day ceremony. Hosted by Dough Parker and Christopher Williamson, assistant secretaries for OSHA and MSHA, respectively, the ceremony will be broadcast from OSHA’s Washington headquarters at 1 p.m. EDT. 

Parker and Williamson will be joined by Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO president, and Wanda Engracia, vice president for the United Support & Memorial for Workplace Fatalities. Engracia’s husband, Pablo Morillo, was one of three workers killed in a 2005 industrial explosion in New Jersey.

On April 28, 1970, the nation first observed Workers Memorial Day at a time when an estimated 38 people died on the job in the U.S. each day. Today, work-related injuries claim the lives of approximately 14 people each day in the U.S.—that’s one life lost every 101 minutes. Workers Memorial Day pays tribute to deceased workers and their surviving loved ones, as well as reinforce the commitment to protect this nation’s workforce.

On Friday, April 28, 2023, families, workers, labor unions, and advocates, along with OSHA and MSHA representatives, will participate in local Workers Memorial Day events across the nation to remember the lives lost and raise awareness of workplace safety to help prevent future tragedies.  

“On Workers Memorial Day, as we remember the people whose jobs claimed their lives, we must recognize that behind these numbers, there are people who mourn each loss,” says Parker. “For them, these statistics are loved ones: they’re parents, children, siblings, relatives, friends, or co-workers. On this day of remembrance, we should reflect on what might have prevented their loss and recommit ourselves to doing all we can—and all that can be done—to safeguard workers and fulfill our moral obligation and duty as a nation to protect America’s workers.” 

“On Workers Memorial Day, we come together to remember those workers we have lost, including those who suffered toxic exposures at work that led to fatal illnesses which were entirely preventable,” says Williamson. “Repeated and prolonged exposures to unsafe levels of coal dust, silica, and diesel exhaust can slowly strip a miner of their livelihood and dignity, and eventually their life. We must honor their loss by doing all we can to protect the health and safety of our nation’s miners.” 

View the online Workers Memorial Day event from Washington on April 27

Source: OSHA, www.osha.gov